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Tender for Wiradjuri Tourism Centre awarded to Peter Stutchbury Architecture
Dubbo Regional Council has awarded the successful tender for the construction of the long-awaited Wiradjuri Tourism Centre to Peter Stutchbury Architecture. Stutchbury has worked alongside Aboriginal Elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun for more than 23 years to come up with concepts that reveal the underlying characteristics of the site where buildings will be located.
When tendering for the design of the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre, applicants had to fulfill a number of weighted criteria, which included strong cultural alignment and connection to country.
Wiradjuri Technical Advisory Panel member and Co-Chair of the Dubbo Aboriginal Working Party, Ashleigh Knight advised “we received 27 applications, which were then shortlisted to five firms. A thorough financial assessment process was undertaken, and the shortlist was presented to the Wiradjuri Technical Advisory Panel members for their feedback.
“It was an extremely competitive process; however, after seeing presentations from all the shortlisted candidates, the Wiradjuri Technical Advisory Panel had in-depth discussions about the designs, details and execution. In the end, the panel determined to award the tender to Peter Stutchbury Architecture.”
Stutchbury has spent a lifetime living in and learning from the land in the Western Division of New South Wales. Specifically, the ancient flood plain that runs south from the Darling, Cobar through to Hillston. He has walked the country and managed animals within its semi-arid domain over the last 60 years. Through his work with Uncle Max, Stutchbury has learned about the Spirit Lines and the voices of all living things, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Stutchbury added “working with Uncle Max has allowed me to draw on the relationships between humans and their environment as an elemental way of being. Slowly, the language of the land is being revealed: ‘to keep knowledge you want, give it away’.”
The designs received as part of the tender process had to listen to community feedback, which was quite extensive. Some of the key outcomes of the initial consultation phase include a desire to award the tender to someone who considered community employment and indolent in the building process, strong cultural alignment and connection to country, and appreciation for the true demonstration of the art of listening – particularly to community.
Dubbo Region Mayor Stephen Lawrence said the initial consultation phase had a strong focus on ensuring the Indigenous community was consulted, including the Aboriginal Lands Council, Dubbo Aboriginal Working Party, and Traditional Owners.
Mayor Lawrence advised “now that the tender has been awarded, Council and community representatives are in the process of progressing the designs, and we hope to have more detailed design concepts to share with community in the coming weeks.”
The Wiradjuri Tourism Centre is part of the Destination Dubbo: International Ready project. For regular updates on Destination Dubbo, visit www.destinationdubboproject.com.au.
Images: Artist impressions of the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre
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